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<p>Olivia Colman and Gary Oldman took the top acting prizes at last night's Jameson Empire Awards.</p>

Olivia Colman and Gary Oldman took the top acting prizes at last night's Jameson Empire Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/Jonathan Short

'Harry Potter' and 'Tinker, Tailor' take top honors at Empire Awards

Yet another hometown Best Actress win for Olivia Colman

With all due respect to the general public (which, if I'm being honest, is a variable amount) I don't tend to pay much attention to awards voted for entirely by them: such awards happen on a weekly basis, and they're called the box office charts.

Still, that's not to say Joe Public can't occasionally surprise us, and at least one result at last night's Jameson Empire Awards -- the last, and booziest, stop on the 2011 kudos calendar, voted for by the readers of the mainstream-oriented film magazine Empire -- reflects rather well on the British masses.

They may not have shown up in great numbers to see "Tyrannosaur" in theaters last autumn, but word of Olivia Colman's tremendous performance has clearly spread enough to nab the humble Brit a Best Actress win over the likes of Meryl Streep and Rooney Mara. When even the multiplex crowd has joined critics in feting Colman -- who also took the British Independent Film Award, London Critics' Circle Award and Evening Standard Film Award -- that BAFTA snub looks ever more boneheaded.

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<p>Lionel Richie &quot;Tuskegee&quot;</p>

Lionel Richie "Tuskegee"

Album Review: Lionel Richie's 'Tuskegee' pairs him with country's finest

Does 'Dancing on the Ceiling' cut it as a country track?

By calling his new album, “Tuskegee,” after his hometown, instead of the much-more accurate, “Nashville,” Lionel Richie is determined to let fans  that he grew up listening to country music.

For those who think it’s a stretch for the popmeister to re-record some of his biggest hits with such country stars as Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker, Shania Twain, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, remember that Richie has a legacy at country radio: Conway Twitty recorded “Three Times A Lady,” Alabama performed “Deep River Woman” with him, and, of course, Kenny Rogers took “Lady” to the top of not only the country charts, but Billboard’s Hot 100 and Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks.  (Read my interview with Richie here).

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<p>Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy in &quot;The Hunger Games.&quot;</p>

Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy in "The Hunger Games."

Credit: Lionsgate

Woody Harrelson takes on the politics of politics in ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Game Change’

The actor's two seemingly incongruous roles point to a gaping cultural wound

When Woody Harrelson signed on to play Steve Schmidt and Haymitch Abernathy in “Game Change” and “The Hunger Games” respectively, he likely wasn’t thinking that the roles are actually strange mirrors of one another (although, who’s to say what Harrelson is thinking really?). Aside from the obvious similarities - both films are adaptations of books and they each have the word “game” in the title - there are some equally clear distinctions.

Steve Schmidt is, of course, the campaign strategist who functioned as the senior adviser on the 2008 John McCain Presidential bid. Haymitch Abernathy is a fictional character who resides within the world of author Suzanne Collins's novel “The Hunger Games,” an imagined dystopic future where North America has been reduced to a conglomerate of 12 “districts” which are presided over by a dangerously self-indulgent “Capitol.”

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<p>John Slattery as Roger Sterling on &quot;Mad Men.&quot;</p>

John Slattery as Roger Sterling on "Mad Men."

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Mad Men' co-star John Slattery

What's Roger's place in the agency now? And how was it directing another episode this season?

After I watched the "Mad Men" premiere (which I reviewed here), I did a couple of interviews about the events of it that I agreed to run the morning after it aired. One was with creator Matthew Weiner, and this one is with Roger Sterling himself, John Slattery. Slattery and I spoke about Roger's position in the agency, his reaction to a familiar character's return to the office, and, in non-spoiler territory, about his experience directing his third episode this season (he and I discussed his directorial debut last season), and how Jon Hamm did when he followed in Slattery's footsteps and got behind the camera, all coming up just as soon as I buy myself a very beautiful picture of something to look at...

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<p>Matthew Perry and Julianna Margulies in &quot;The Good Wife.&quot;</p>

Matthew Perry and Julianna Margulies in "The Good Wife."

Credit: CBS

'The Good Wife' - 'Blue-Ribbon Panel': Could I BE any more of a tool?

Matthew Perry and Charles Dutton guest star in a busy, memorable hour

It was a busy Sunday night for scripted drama, between the "Mad Men" premiere and the "Luck" finale, but last night's excellent "The Good Wife" shouldn't be lost in the shuffle. A quick review coming up just as soon as I yield my five minutes to you...

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<p>Was it a different Don Draper (Jon Hamm)&nbsp;we saw in the &quot;Mad Men&quot;&nbsp;season premiere?</p>

Was it a different Don Draper (Jon Hamm) we saw in the "Mad Men" season premiere?

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner on the season 5 premiere

On the date, the agency, Megan and more

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner is famously tight-lipped about what's happening on the show before it airs, but he was willing to talk to me about the events of the season 5 premiere (which I reviewed here), provided I posted the interview the morning after it aired. So here's Weiner discussing why the season is set when it's set, why not every character appeared in the premiere, and more, all coming up just as soon as we all go water skiing together...

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<p>This is how fans will feel when they realize that 'The Dark Knight Rises' will not be at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.</p>

This is how fans will feel when they realize that 'The Dark Knight Rises' will not be at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Buzzkill: 'The Dark Knight Rises' will not be at Comic-Con 2012

That won't stop months of speculation, but it's true

Let me ask you this:  why would Christopher Nolan bring "The Dark Knight Rises" to Comic-Con?

Forget about a full-blown screening of the film, which is never going to happen.  Warner Bros. isn't going to show 10,000 people something they know those 10,000 people are going to see a week later at $15 a pop.  That's just math.  But regarding a panel for the film, what would make anyone think that with his final film, following up one of the most successful films of all time, Nolan would suddenly change his entire game-plan and show up with his cast and clips and answer questions?

To be clear, the rumor started to spread last week that Warner Bros. was planning a secret Comic-Con panel for the film, and as the rumor grew, it eventually became "AND THEY ARE SCREENING THE MOVIE, TOO!"

Nope.  Not true.  Neither one of those things is happening.

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<p>The Cosgroves and the Campbells get their party best on for the &quot;Mad Men&quot;&nbsp;season premiere. </p>

The Cosgroves and the Campbells get their party best on for the "Mad Men" season premiere.

Credit: AMC

Season premiere review: 'Mad Men' - 'A Little Kiss'

Happiness is more dream than reality for Don, Joan, Roger and friends

"Mad Men" is finally back after 17 months, and I have a review of the premiere episode coming up just as soon as I have tickets to the bean ballet...

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<p>A scene from Sunday's &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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A scene from Sunday's "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'This Is Wicked Strange'

Teams head to Azerbaijan for fun with oil and apples and hay
It was only two weeks ago that I mused on the problematic nature of the "Amazing Race" Fast-Forward.
 
"Fast-Forwards are almost never any good, are they? And the show has structured them so badly that you almost never have two teams competing for the Fast-Forward because everybody knows that the tasks are easy, so the Fast-Forward becomes a reward for the first team to the clue, which is an arbitrary thing to reward."
 
With Sunday (March 25) night's episode, I was proven both right and wrong, as "The Amazing Race" had its second Fast-Forward of the month.
 
On one hand, two teams competed for the Fast-Forward, which was exactly what I said didn't happen nearly enough.
 
On the other hand -- the more practical hand -- not only was it the first two teams to reach the clue who attempted the Fast-Forward, but the Fast-Forward proved to be an all-or-nothing proposition. It was a difficult task, in an episode without a difficult Detour or Roadblock, meaning that the team that completed the Fast-Forward ended up winning the Leg and the team that didn't complete the Fast-Forward ended up going home, because there was no opportunity to make up time by excelling at later challenges. 
 
That meant that we deviated from the Only One Team Attempts the Fast-Forward norm exactly long enough to convince future competing teams that the dice roll that comes from attempting a Fast-Forward you know another team is attempting just isn't worth it. Attempting the Fast-Forward led to a 50 percent chance of winning the Leg and a 50 percent chance of total elimination. Not attempting the Fast-Forward had a 100 percent success rate in terms of not-being-eliminated, which is kinda the goal when you're gunning for a million bucks and not just the week's sponsored prize package.
 
So when a silly recapper like me dares to question why multiple "Amazing Race" teams rarely go for the same Fast-Forward, we have our cautionary tale in place.
 
Full recap after the break...
 
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<p>The horses of &quot;Luck.&quot;</p>

The horses of "Luck."

Credit: HBO

Interview: 'Luck' creator David Milch on the series' premature end

Would he have made the call to cancel? And how does this compare to the 'Deadwood' finale?

Though there are a few moments in tonight's "Luck" suggesting creator David Milch had a premonition that the series would be abruptly canceled due to the third horse death during production, Milch told me in an interview on Friday that he never had it in his mind that this would be a series finale. (You can read my finale review here.) In fact, if the ultimate decision-making power on this fell in Milch's hands, the show would have continued, though he says he understands and supports what HBO chose to do.

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<p>Dennis Farina and John Ortiz in &quot;Luck.&quot;</p>

Dennis Farina and John Ortiz in "Luck."

Credit: HBO

Series finale review: 'Luck' - 'Episode 9': It takes two

The horses and their owners thrill in their last day in the sun

And so "Luck" has ended earlier than anyone expected or planned for. I interviewed series creator David Milch about the abrupt end, and I have a review of the series finale coming up just as soon as we can afford multiple hot tubs...

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<p>&nbsp;One Direction</p>
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 One Direction

Credit: Charlies Sykes/AP

Music Power Rankings: One Direction tops The Hunger Games and Madonna

Veteran rockers also make the list

1) One Direction: The boy band becomes the first British group ever to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with its first album. We doubt Paul McCartney is losing any sleep over not getting that record.

2) "The Hunger Games" soundtrack:
The movie will likely break the $138 million mark this weekend, while the excellent T Bone Burnett-produced soundtrack will handily come in at No. 1 next week. Let’s home he doesn’t have to fight Adele to the death for the top spot.

3) Motley Crue and KISS: The two veteran rock groups announce a summer tour together. They promise to rock and roll all night or until the early bird special, whichever comes first.

4) Madonna: As she prepares to release “MDNA” on Monday, she holds a Facebook Q&A with Jimmy Fallon on Saturday. We’d loved to have seen a few TV performances, other than the Super Bowl. We’re just saying.

5) Dr. Dre: The hip-hop artist/producer will produce the forthcoming horror thriller, “Thaw.” Man, he’ll do anything to keep from finishing and releasing “Detox.” It’s his “Chinese Democracy.”

6) Adam Levine: His resurrection continues. After “The Voice’s” exposure helped give the Maroon 5 singer the band’s biggest hit yet, he is now delving into acting, and is in negotiations to appear on season two of “American Horror Story.” Taking bets now on how his character will die.

7) Skrillex: Skrillex, David Guetta, Diplo and 30 other electronic dance musicians sign exclusive residencies with the Wynn in Las Vegas. Folks can go to their sets right after seeing Garth Brooks.

8) The Black Keys: The duo apologizes to Nickelback for calling them the worst band in the world in an incredibly backhanded apology by adding they aren’t the only ones who don’t like the Canadian band.  Hey, at least they said Chad Kroeger has better hair than they do.

9) Lionel Richie: The icon sells more than 20,000 copies of new album, “Tuskegee,” on HSN. Susan Boyle, who sold 80,000 albums when she plugged it on QVC laughs. Her record-setting hour required no dancing on the ceiling.

10) Whitney Houston: The autopsy released this week reveals cause of death is drowning and hardening of arteries brought on by cocaine use. Nothing but sadness.

 

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